How Is Pain and Suffering Determined after a Car Accident in Milwaukee?
In 2020 alone, there were a total of 115, 694 reported car accidents in Wisconsin. Before seeking compensation for damages after a car crash, it is important to have a rough idea of how much your claim is worth. Generally, there are two main types of damages you can recover; general and special damages. Pain and suffering fall under general damages, making them important factors to consider when calculating the settlement value of your case. But how is pain and suffering determined after a car accident in Milwaukee?
Read on to find out.
COMMON TYPES OF CAR ACCIDENTS
There are different types of car accidents that can lead to personal injury claims. Some of the most common are:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Highway construction accidents
HOW PAIN AND SUFFERING ARE DEFINED IN A CAR ACCIDENT
Pain and suffering is a legal term that describes the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experience as a result of injuries sustained or the death of a loved one following a car accident. Oftentimes, the harm will impact your lifestyle and emotional well-being, making it difficult or impossible for you to lead a normal life. The consequences of such ills can be either temporary or permanent.
TYPES OF PAIN AND SUFFERING
To calculate general damages, you need to know exactly what is considered pain and suffering in a car accident case. Below are the different types of pain and suffering you can claim.
PHYSICAL PAIN AND SUFFERING
This refers to the actual pain and discomfort that you feel on your body. However, this type of pain and suffering can trigger mental health issues. It includes:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and back pain
- Broken or fractured bones
- Dislocated joints
- Sprained or pulled muscles
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Disfiguring scarring
- Permanent disability
This is any negative emotions that you may experience as a result of suffering physical pain and trauma. Examples of emotional pain and suffering are:
- Sleeplessness or nightmares
- Frustration and emotional outbursts
- Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional pain and distress
- Psychological trauma
- Cognitive damages after suffering a head or brain injury
LOSS OF ENJOYMENT OF LIFE
The physical injuries sustained in car accidents can result in inability to perform activities of daily living and loss of enjoyment of life. This may lower your quality of life significantly. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you may need help performing certain tasks that you would have otherwise done by yourself.
LOSS OF CONSORTIUM
If you suffer a severe, long-lasting or permanent injury, you may no longer be there for your family like you used to. Your surviving spouse or family members can pursue loss of consortium damages. They include loss of:
- Love and affection
- Care and support
- Parental guidance
- Household services
- Spousal intimacy
FACTORS THAT DETERMINE PAIN AND SUFFERING AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
There is no universal way to calculate pain and suffering damages. However, there are several factors that will be taken into account to determine how much your pain and suffering is worth.
Age of the victim: Because younger victims are likely to endure pain and suffering for a much longer period of time than older people, they tend to be awarded more for the damages.
The nature and severity of the injury: The type of injury suffered will have a direct impact on the severity of pain, how long the pain will last and long-term damages.
Recovery time needed: There is a good chance you will get a high settlement amount if your injuries take long to heal. Such injuries are more likely to affect your mental health and quality of life in general.
Effect on enjoyment of life: This refers to how the collision affects your ability to socialize, engage in hobbies and perform other activities. The greater the effect of the injuries on enjoyment of life, the more your pain and suffering will be worth.
Anticipated future problems: If there is potential for ongoing consequences that could lead to further pain and suffering, the settlement amount you receive is bound to be higher than in normal cases.
Mental health: When evaluating pain and suffering, judges and juries will take into consideration the psychological effects of the car accident.
HOW A LAWYER CAN HELP
The importance of having a lawyer on your side when determining pain and suffering cannot be denied. The legal expert will help to:
- Conduct an independent investigation: A thorough investigation and analysis of information will help to establish important facts and collect additional evidence.
- Offer expert advice: Your lawyer can advise you to keep a journal to document your pain and suffering. The record may include details such as your pain levels, the help you needed with daily activities and any special occasions you may have missed due to your injuries.
- Gather evidence: A good lawyer will help you collect crucial evidence to prove your pain and suffering. Important evidence includes photographs of your injuries, and pictures of yourself in hospital and during rehabilitation. Other key pieces of evidence are medical records, police reports and witness statements.
- Negotiate on your behalf: Your lawyer will use their skills, experience and data from past cases to negotiate on your behalf. This will increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome.
- Offer support: Most lawyers will do more than just offering legal services. The legal expert will offer you the support you need so you can focus on your recovery.
Putting a monetary value on pain and suffering in a car accident case is not an easy task. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash in Milwaukee, get in touch with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will help you obtain the compensation you truly deserve.